Hind Dewclaws Dr. Laura Leautier

By: Laura Leautier

Does your dog have rear dewclaws? Most dogs do not, but some breeds, like Great

Pyrenees, actually must have a double set of rear dewclaws to be considered “normal.”

If your dog has rear dewclaws, you have the option to let them be, or remove them.

Ideally, the best time to remove dewclaws (front or back ones) is at 3-5 days of age. But

since most of us don’t get our puppies until 8 wks or later, we will often do the dewclaw

removal surgery at the time of the neuter or spay, so there’s just one anesthesia. In

dewclaws that have a definite bony joint, the surgery is a bit more involved and a little

dewclawscostlier to remove than the “floppy” ones. The floppy dewclaws hang out to the side and

may get snagged on things, so they should be removed. Also, dogs who don’t appreciate

their nails being trimmed should have them removed. Since the dewclaws don’t touch

the ground, they can grow very long and curl around, cutting into the pad. If you decide

to have the surgery done, know in advance that the two weeks of healing and bandage

changes can be a bit of a bear. Dogs tend to want to remove their bandages and chew at

their stitches, so an Elizabethan collar is needed. We usually see them back for bandage

changes every 3-5 days until suture removal at 14 days post-surgery. Our doctors are101_3579

happy to discuss any questions you may have about the procedure.